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Setting non-native resolutions in F11

I know, I know — I haven’t blogged about RidingResource in a while, but we’ve been focusing on other non-blogworthy stuff like starting to promote and fixing little goofy bugs here and there. I have, however, been poking about with Fedora 11 (Leonidas) and have been finding little tricks and things here and there to make life easier. One thing I found was that the new F11 has the nifty KMS stuff that gives you the slick graphical boot up and seamless login into Gnome (X). However, one thing I noticed that was missing was the ability to set non-native resolutions in the display settings.

For some, this ability is important. For example, I frequently conduct presentations online and not everyone that I present to has a widescreen monitor. Trying to share a desktop/application at 1680×1050 when the viewer only can see 1024×768 makes things difficult for the viewer.  They end up having to scroll and do all kinds of other goofy stuff that annoys them.

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where these non-native resolutions “went.” I remember being able to set them in F10 without doing anything fancy, but in F11 these “extra” modes were curiously absent. After some prodding around, a kind fellow in #fedora on freenode suggested trying to disable KMS when booting in grub by adding the “nomodeset” option. This actually did the trick. While I lose the cute bootup sequence, I can always create another grub boot option that still has the KMS enabled. I can boot normally, or boot with “nomodeset” when I know I’ve got to do a presentation.

Hopefully this information helps!